Mourners offer funeral prayers for bomb blast victims a day after a suicide attack at a Shiite mosque in Peshawar on March 5, 2022. ( AFP / ABDUL MAJEED)

Injured Syrian child pictured in misleading posts after Pakistan suicide attack

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Following a suicide attack on a mosque in northwestern Pakistan in March 2022, an image of an injured child was shared hundreds of times in social media posts that claimed it shows a victim of the bombing. However, the photo has been shared in a misleading context; it is actually an AFP photo of a child injured in Syria after an air strike in January 2020.

The image shows a child whose face is bruised and bandaged.

It was tweeted on March 4, 2022 by an account with more than 17,000 followers.

The post's Urdu-language caption translates to English in part as: "Condolences to the mother of this little, innocent martyr. #Shiagenocide #PeshawarBlast."

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Screenshot of the misleading post. Taken on March 8, 2022.


The post's hashtags refer to a suicide attack on a Shiite mosque in Sunni-majority Pakistan's northwest city of Peshawar on March 4, the country's deadliest since 2018.

Peshawar police said 62 people -- including seven children aged below 10 -- died in the bombing, which was claimed by the Islamic State group, AFP reported.

The image was shared hundreds of times alongside a similar claim on Facebook here, here, here, and here; and on Twitter here.

However, the image has been shared in a misleading context -- it actually shows a child who was injured in an air strike in Syria.

The original photo can be seen in AFP's archives here.

"An injured Syrian child cries after being transported to a clinic for treatment following an air strike by pro-regime forces on the northwestern city of Idlib on January 11, 2020," the photo's caption reads.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading posts (left) and the AFP photo (right):

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Screenshot comparison. ( AFP / )


A reverse image search also found the AFP photo published in January 2020 by the Jeddah-based English-language newspaper Saudi Gazette.

AFP reported on January 11, 2020 that the air strikes in Idlib had killed 18 people, including six children.

The same image also circulated in misleading posts after a deadly attack on an Islamic seminary in Peshawar in October 2020, as debunked by AFP here.